In 1763 John Hope, the King's Botanist for Scotland, realised his ambition to establish a new botanic garden in Leith Walk. This garden was the predecessor of the present Royal Botanic Garden at Inverleith. Shortly after the establishment of the Garden, a small house was built at the centre of the Leith Walk frontage, which is described in the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1852 as 'Botanic Cottage'.
Remarkably, this small house survived, stripped of its plaster and some of its detail, half sunk below the raised level of Leith Walk and dominated by a tenement three times its height, which towered over its south gable. It was unoccupied, in a site destined for redevelopment. The Botanic Cottage Trust was established to secure a future for this small building with such architectural merit and very considerable importance for the history of the science of Botany, both in the context of the Edinburgh Enlightenment and for the Royal Botanic Garden itself.
In 2008 funding was secureed to carefully record and dismantle the building. In 2013 permission was granted to re-erect the Cottage on a new site, within the Royal Botanic Garden at Inverleith, to provide a new education and community hub within the gardens. It will be re-associated with the monument, designed by Robert Adam, which Hope himself erected to his great friend and correspondent Linnaeus in the Leith Walk Garden in 1779, as the centrepiece of a presentation on the history of the Garden and of the science of Botany.
The building opened in its new home in the summer of 2016.
|Project name:||The Botanic Cottage|
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